One of my favorite topics to write about are the charming small towns in eastern North Carolina. And today I’m sharing the best things to do in Belhaven, NC! We decided to head down a day early for our trip to Ocracoke and stay in Belhaven. I worked in Little Washington when I was in college at East Carolina University and always heard about Belhaven, but had never taken a trip. Belhaven is about 2.5 hours from Raleigh and over an hour from Greenville, and is the perfect spot for an overnight trip. We will definitely make a stop here part of our trip to Ocracoke with its proximity to the Swan Quarter ferry, too!
Belhaven is a small town with less than 2,000 people living in the town, located right on the Pungo River. The Pungo feeds into the Pamlico Sound and the community maintains a historical and coastal connection. The Pamlico Sound separates the Inner Banks from North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and the waterfront views, fishing, boating, and small town community make Belhaven the perfect getaway.
Top 10 Best Things to Do in Belhaven NC, a Complete Travel Guide
Things to do in Belhaven, NC – Where to Eat
The Tavern at Jack’s Neck: We stopped in at Jack’s when we got into town for a quick snack and ordered the three cheese bread sticks and they were delicious. The restaurant boasts beautiful woodwork and stone, and is casual and welcoming. The menu has something for everyone and is a great option for dining in Belhaven.
Spoon River: This restaurant was on my list of places to try for quite a while, so I was thrilled to have dinner here on our trip. This farm-to-fork restaurant focuses on sourcing ingredients from North Carolina as often as possible. The interior is eclectic and artful, the food is delightful, and the service is welcoming. Their menu changes often, but whatever you do, get dessert while you’re there. You won’t be disappointed!
Things to do in Belhaven, NC – What to Do
Riddick & Windley Hardware: I won’t lie, when people recommended us stopping in the Ace Hardware, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised with the home decor and women’s clothing selections, plus they have wine and cheese for sale. It was a fun and unexpected shop to stop and browse!
Attic Life: We enjoyed browsing Attic Life with its selections of antiques, gifts, and men’s and women’s clothing options.
Market32: I have followed this shop on Instagram for quite some time, and their women’s clothing an accessories are so cute and affordable! There are antiques and other gift ideas as well. Check out their Instagram account here.
Belhaven Memorial Museum: I am fascinated with towns and their histories, and the fact that the second floor is dedicated to Eva Way’s collection of eclectic items is quite intriguing to me. It’s free to visit this museum, but donations are accepted. It’s open from 1:00-5:00 every day except Wednesdays.
Belhaven Water Front: Take a walk along the waterfront, especially in the evenings to catch one of these epic sunset views.
Machapunga Ecotours: We didn’t get to do one of these ecotours on our trip, but we will definitely do one the next time we come back for a visit. The tours focus on educating folks on the estuaries and promoting the Pamlico Sound in a sustainable way. Captain Peter is an ECU grad and provides opportunities to learn about the area in a hands on way. There are options for evening cruises as well. If you stay at Between Water & Main, Kasey can help you plan your trip, too!
Tar-Pam Guide Services: If you’re interested in a fishing tour, check out Captain Richard for year-round fishing options. It’s definitely one funnest things to do in Bellhaven, NC. There are various trip lengths as well. David loves to fish, so this is on his list of things to do on a return trip.
Where to Stay
Between Water and Main Bed and Breakfast: David and I loved our stay at the inn. It was by far on of favorite things to do in Bellhaven, NC. Mainly because it’s cozy, welcoming, and open, with an evening cocktail hour and a delicious breakfast each morning. I made my morning coffee at the coffee bar and enjoyed it while sitting in the window seat overlooking the water. We had the signature blueberry lemon bread pudding for breakfast and OMG we are still talking about it. Kasey and Molly have put their personal touches on the inn and those touches make it a truly special stay.
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Where’s your favorite place to visit in NC? Share in a comment below!